Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Taco Bell Class Action Lawsuit Meets Social Media Defense

The Facebook "Like" button is one of many social media and Internet marketing tools being used by Taco Bell® Corp., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., in response to the recent lawsuit by Beasley Allen.

Now playing in the court of public opinion, Taco Bell has launched an immediate and impressive crisis communications defense. A February 8th press release is headlined, "Taco Bell® Announces World's Largest Taco Giveaway on Facebook; Company Thanks Fans for Their Support With Goal of Rewarding 10 Million Free Tacos To Its Facebook Community."

The offer of a free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco is only available to Facebook members who "Like" the Taco Bell page, allowing each fan access to print the coupon.

Other offline and online marketing elements of this campaign include:

- Full page print ads in leading newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today.

- Google AdWords text ads featuring top of page placement and offering the "Official Statement from the Company" with "Facts from the Taco Bell President."

- A corporate video response featuring Greg Creed, Taco Bell President. The video is a primary feature of the landing page that starts the Google visitor on a path to read all about the company response.

- Easy access to Taco Bell media relations professionals.

What all this means to the case remains to be seen, but Taco Bell appears to be increasing consumer loyalty in the face of adversity. With social media defense tools strengthening, plaintiff side class action firms need to be even more proactive. Whatever the outcome, Taco Bell is scoring lots of points with their campaign.

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